There is a meme that was making rounds on social media the last week of 2015. It showed a tired and exasperated man with the caption “time for that new year, new me crap”. I remember laughing the first time I saw it. But then I thought about it and I started to hate it. Sure it’s funny, it makes fun of all those people who pretend to be different just because the clock has struck midnight. However, this meme ridicules the point of New Year; hope.
There is a growing trend of disillusionment that has been going on. I think it comes with adulthood. The feeling that makes you think “It’s New Year so what?” You remember the bad news of the previous year and you think “whatever”. That is a dangerous attitude. Why? Because nothing kills dreams like discouragement and disillusionment. I don’t think the point of New Year is to make resolutions. No. Resolutions are great but there is a bigger underlying point. The whole point of New Year is optimism and hope. It is the exciting thought that we have been given another chance to do something with our lives. It is the realization that even though life does not give us a reset button, we get a refresh button every so often in the form of New Year.
And that is why I believe that writing New Year resolutions is a great thing to do. It is not lame. It is saying “I am hopeful that the New Year will bring great things and so I am actively planning for it”. You see, 2015 was a tough year for me. I had days when I didn’t want to get out of bed. When you see me speaking about disillusionment, I know what I’m talking about. I have had days when I felt there was no glimmer of hope. I had not even realized how pessimistic I had become until I attended a conference in December. I had gone as one of the speakers but I ended up being spoken to instead. I realized that if the devil can send you one discouragement per month he doesn’t need to do anything else. By the end of the year your relationship with God will be ruined. That is exactly what happened to me in 2015. I realized that all the bad news, discouragements had made me forget how big my God is. When your problems are so closely pressed to your face, you see nothing else. You forget verses like Jeremiah 32:27 that says “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
So this New Year I am choosing hope and optimism. Every day. Even in the little things. And I am asking you to do the same. As you enter into 2016 here are some things to consider:
Have resolutions: It doesn’t matter whether you call them plans or resolutions or whatever. They can be written down on a cute notebook. Or not. The point is, have them. Don’t be a passive audience in your own life, participate in it. Sure there are things you have no control over like the weather or the future. But there are definitely some things you can do. You can eat better, save for your needs and bring your A game to work. So, go ahead and plan and anticipate good things.
Your resolutions don’t have to be big things: Start small, remember the point is to keep hope alive. For starters, one of my resolutions this year is to make the bed immediately I wake up every day. Sure that sounds like a small thing but it when you’ve had a difficult couple of days making your bed is harder than you think. Pick something that constantly reminds you to conquer the day and purpose to do it daily.
It is OK to recycle New Year resolutions: Who says you have to have new and exciting resolutions every year? If there is someone who says that, don’t listen to them. The biggest victory in life is being able to start again after failure. So renew that gym membership, keep trying to get pregnant, pick up on that savings plan you had started. Restart any projects that fell by the way side. It will reduce the number of resolutions you have to recycle next year.
Have outrageous dreams: I know I said your resolutions don’t have to be big things. I’m not contradicting myself. As you conquer the small things like making your bed daily have a column with crazy dreams. You know those plans that sound impossible? Yes those ones. One of my big dreams for 2016 is to make Still A Mum an Africa-wide thing. The importance of these big dreams is that at end of the year they will surprise you. You will realize that you managed to achieve some and it will renew your hope for the next year and the year after that.
Today is the first blank page of a 365 pages book. Let’s write a good one. Happy New Year!!
Author: Wanjiru Kihusa
I am Wanjiru Kihusa and I’m a writer and founder of Still A Mum – an organization that seeks to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Africa. I am especially passionate about women and children.
I blog to share my thoughts and experiences hoping that in the process someone will learn from my life.